Letters to the Editor

Readers react to drugs, guns and the middle class

Youth drug use

We’ve madebig strides in tobacco prevention as the substance becomes less legal. By coupling stricter policies and laws such as clean indoor ordinances, increasing the purchase age, tax increases and stricter penalties for selling to minors with public health-education campaigns, youth use decreases.

On the contrary, if we were to legalize marijuana and decriminalize other drugs, youth use would increase rapidly despite our best efforts to educate about the harmful effects.

Laura Bruce

Kansas City

Statehouse, guns

The Kansas Legislature continues to promote guns in all walks of life (2-4, 5A, “Gun rights at center of Kansas action”). Take guns to restaurants, schools, movies or just on a walk around town.

However, I noticed there is one place they absolutely do not want guns, and that is where they do their business — the Kansas Statehouse. Like the Democrats of old, this GOP-dominated Legislature wants to insert itself in individual lives.

However, these lawmakers never seem to lead by example. The last time I was at the Statehouse, I got a physical that my health insurance would have been proud of.

Enough of this stuff. People have a right to take guns into the legislative chambers.

The Second Amendment says so, or does it?

Joseph E. Hodnik

Olathe

Middle-class woes

Seventy hours of work at a $1-an-hour minimum-wage job paid for a semester tuition at Emporia State University in 1960. Fifty-five years of inflation should have made the minimum wage about $8 and tuition about $560 by 2015.

Students are now paying $3,069 in tuition and fees at Emporia State. At $7.25 an hour minimum wage, that requires more than 420 hours of employment.

I have been a Kansas taxpayer since 1965, so the state has received a decent return for its investment in my education. It is my opinion that trickle-down economics has failed the middle class and the working poor.

Marvin Mentzer

Paola, Kan.

Mental illness

When it comes to violent crimes, we shouldn’t blame all mentally ill people. Much of the trouble is with untreated post-traumatic stress disorder survivors and addicted, alcoholic or mentally ill people who have not had treatment.

Sociopaths are notoriously treatment averse, so checks for people receiving help do little to screen them out.

We should all have safe, protected, free access to mental and emotional health support without being stigmatized or criminalized or having our rights removed.

Also, we badly need to support our first responders. They should be allowed simple, safe and effective PTSD help. They should never be forced to suffer through PTSD alone, which impairs everything, including their work performance and gun usage.

Anyone anywhere can become mentally ill. Better, easier and more openly encouraged access to mental-health care is the answer.

Penalizing people who have been treated for mental illness does nothing to solve gun violence. Instead, it exacerbates problems.

Less treatment equals more sick people and more violence. Linking gun control to mental-health issues, even just in rhetoric, is ignorant, unfeasible and dangerous.

Jennifer Field

Kansas City

Bill of Rights, guns

Our Founding Fathers made the Bill of Rights for very important purposes, and it deserves to be abided by. We have twisted and misinterpreted the Bill of Rights even though the rules were specific and fair to the people.

Why are some of us not so sure that the Bill of Rights is even being practiced. Does it matter anymore?

Of course it does. If it's not being followed, the way the Founding Fathers intended it to be followed, then what are we doing?

For example, are we going to let the government take away our guns? Or let them take away what is ours?

How are we going to bear arms in trouble if we don't have any? Will we let them manipulate us, our future children? I won't. I will make a difference. What will you do?

Patience Nield

Blue Springs

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